Page:Out of due time, Ward, 1906.djvu/30

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IV.

After a long hot journey, how delightful was my first drive across the moors to Peak Hall. "It would be about twelve miles," said the cheerful red-faced driver, speaking in soft North-country accents, as he handed me into the dogcart. There had been some moments' delay, as there were no preparations for my luggage, and we had to inquire for a cart to follow with my boxes.

Twelve miles before I need think of being shy or self-conscious, or afraid of my hosts; twelve miles of rough jogging down hills and slow crawling up, each kind of motion carried to an extreme that suggested some personal eccentricity in the pony or the driver. We were soon between glowing purple hills on one side and great grassy ones on the other, very curious and individual in formation, sometimes crowned with huge blocks of rocky stone massed in weird shapes on the summits. Several of these rocks were objects of affectionate pride to the driver, who pointed them out as we got further into the valley. There was one especially striking isolated mass of rocks. "They do call those the 'Coach and Horses' on this side, on the other they calls them 'The Old Woman and her Cakes'." Both names were curiously fitting; the grey coach always seemed to me, when I became familiar with it, to be carrying the phantoms of some evil great men lost out on the moors. It was a mail-coach with four horses and a large boot, all heavily made of eternal rock, and yet evidently moving in a shadowy, ghost-

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